“You shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them, that the land where I am bringing you to dwell may not vomit you out. And you shall not walk in the statutes of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they commit all these things, and therefore I abhor them” (Leviticus 20:22-23).
Consider the following statistics regarding the sex-crazed society in which we live: Minutes until another pornographic movie is made: 39; Amount spent on pornography each second: $380; Percentage of pornographic websites produced in the U.S.: 89 (source: preaching today). Does God really expect us to be able to keep ourselves pure in the midst of such a sex-crazed society?
In the context of the opening passage above, God describes a long list of sexual sins the nations that were currently in the Promised Land, which Israel was about to inherit, had committed. These sins included adultery (Leviticus 20:10), incest (Leviticus 20:11), homosexuality (Leviticus 20:13), and even bestiality (Leviticus 20:15-16) among others. Because these nations had committed these sexual sins, among other sins, God was casting them out of the land Israel was going to inherit (Leviticus 20:23). The iniquity of the Amorites was complete (cf. Genesis 15:16).
Yet, God not only believed, but expected His people to keep themselves from being defiled by the society around them (Leviticus 20:22). How? Instead of focusing on the messages sent to them by the culture in which they lived, they were to focus on God’s statutes and commandments (Leviticus 20:23). They were to focus on God’s message and be holy as God is holy (Leviticus 20:26).
We live in an age where sexual immorality is rampant. We are bombarded with commercials that exploit people’s weaknesses to give into sexual lusts. Pornography is a huge business. Christian young people have a difficult time finding a mate who has not already engaged in sexual relations with multiple partners. Our society has taken what God has said he abhors (e.g. adultery and homosexuality) and not only tolerates it, but promotes it! It is a challenge to strive to live a Christian life in such an environment and not allow this to weigh you down.
Sometimes, the tendency as a Christian is just to focus on condemning the world for practicing these things. The result is we come across as being judgmental and this doesn’t exactly attract people to want to follow Christ. The truth of the matter is these sins are just among many sins with which mankind struggles. While these sexual sins are sins which God abhors, God abhors the sins against which we all struggle. All of us have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).
I thank God that He has provided a way through His Son to know His truth, have the opportunity to repent, and be forgiven of my sin (John 14:6). I am also thankful for my brethren who strive to live godly lives in a world where we are constantly bombarded by ungodliness. I acknowledge that as long as I am in the world, I will live in the midst of ungodliness. I refuse to allow the ungodliness around me to diminish my ability to be a light for God to show others who struggle with sin the blessings Christ has brought into my life. Today, I will strive to glorify God in the world in which I live!
“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:14-15).